The death of the physical, in-person internship could be sooner than you think and that may be a good thing.
According to Forbes, in the summer of 2020 36% of employers in the US were opting for virtual internships. In 2021 with many workplaces still closed and increasingly remote, that number is likely to increase. Hiring remote interns is hot now.
But even before the 2020 COVID pandemic, virtual internships had gained traction globally as a better alternative for many businesses and interns. And in COVID’s aftermath, it’s obvious they are taking on an increasingly major role in the modern workplace.
So why should your business get a virtual intern this year?
Some of the top reasons why you should consider hiring a virtual intern this hiring season are:
- More flexibility
- They are easier to structure
- You’ll have a larger applicant pool
- More international exposure
- They’re more desirable to interns
Let’s address these points:
Virtual internships are easy to fit into your schedule flexibly
Internships may feel like more effort than they’re worth, especially if you’re a small business.
You may be dubious about letting a clumsy, under-skilled worker disrupt your workflow while you train them up. Especially when they may not even work for you once their internship is up.
An online intern can complement your workflow without all the distractions. Remote interns can be assigned daily tasks and then left alone while you focus on your tasks. If they need any help, a quick phone call or message can remedy any questions they might have.
The distance can be nice for busy managers who don’t always want to be interrupted during the workday to field questions and can help teach interns to be resourceful.
This flexibility often helps make interns more affordable for smaller companies as well. In the US, companies are not always required to pay interns if their internships can meet criteria including schedule flexibility for academic commitments. A virtual internship can give a student the space they need to complete their studies and work with your business on their own time.
Virtual internships are easier for you to structure
Besides simply finding the time to do them, structuring a good internship is tough. Your staff is usually stressed enough just fulfilling their own KPIs, much less coming up with KPIs for an intern and then chasing them over it.
However, with a virtual internship, you can structure daily tasks strictly around what you need ahead of time. You don’t need to follow a virtual intern around and make sure every moment of their time is accounted for because it’s on their time, not yours.
And if you don’t want to spend time structuring your internship yourself?
Some third-party intern hubs like Virtual Internships, a fast-growing online platform linking interns with businesses will even help by providing you with a framework that has proven effective for other interns. That way you don’t need to waste time researching how to keep interns busy at work.
Virtual internships give you access to a wider range of talent
Some sources say as much as 75% of interns lost their internships due to COVID. Coupled with higher unemployment in most nations today, there’s a lot of demand for new jobs. However, people are a lot less mobile too.
While it’s easy to put your job online and share it with the world, not everyone can relocate to where your company is. Especially if it’s in a major city with high living costs.
With a virtual internship, location stops being a factor. It’s a much smaller ask for both the intern and the employer and it’s often a win-win for both. And that’s not just for interns residing within your region.
Virtual internships give your company an international edge without the paperwork
Speaking of relocation, virtual internships solve an increasingly difficult problem for companies: finding the best global talent without having to worry about the extra costs of visa work.
Some of the best talent in your field may not even live in your country. Offering internships online lets you access the best the world has to offer without the hassle of paperwork. They can be a great way to test out an international employee before going to all the work of bringing them over on a visa. Remote workers can also be a great step towards moving into an international market.
Virtual Internships help your interns
Finally, virtual internships aren’t just a win for your business, they’re a win for interns too.
In an era where internships are seeming more like trial jobs with lower pay, many interns are starting to feel cautious about job offerings. Through a virtual internship, interns get the autonomy to try on a job and see if it fits without committing to a big move or a huge schedule change and commute. And businesses like yours can more easily reach out and provide much-needed mentorship to interns need no matter how big or small you are.
Where to find your first virtual intern
If you want more information on hiring a virtual intern, we’ve got all the information you need to start setting up your virtual internship at no cost. All you need to do is sign up.
At Virtual Internships, we work with top institutions worldwide to provide online internships to highly skilled interns in fields ranging from IT to business and everything in between. We’re always looking for business partners to provide positions to our quickly expanding roster of interns from some of the best universities around the world.
To get your free start finding the right fit for your team and structuring your online internship, head over to our site and register your business email today.
And for more information on structuring virtual internships and industry trends check out our blog.
We wish you the best of luck in your hiring journey.